STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur of J&K High Court stayed the selection/appointment of 29 Assistant Engineers (Electrical).
Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur after hearing Advocate Abhinav Sharma appearing for the petitioners, observed that petitioners have challenged the selection conducted by the Public Service Commission (PSC) inter alia on the ground that the candidates were selected on the basis of a non uniform criteria, inasmuch as, various candidates were interviewed by different selection committees comprising different expert members. It was urged that this was not possible for the different Committees to adopt the same adjudging standards and to determine inter see merit amongst various candidates appearing before them.
Advocate Abhinav Sharma submitted that Division Bench of this Court in case title JKSSRB versus Neelam Gupta stated that by changing the composition of the selection committee, merit of the competing candidates which formed a class in itself was thus adjudged not by one single committee but by the two committees. “The standards of adjudging the merit of the candidates, admittedly, got changed. There having been no uniformity in adjudging the merit of the competing candidates, the selection process was rendered arbitrary, violating the constitutional guarantees contained in Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India”, he submitted while quoting the aforesaid judgement.
In the rebuttal Senior Advocate D.C Raina appearing for the PSC placed in a judgment of the Apex Court titled J&K versus Raj Dulari Razdan.
Justice D.S Thakur after hearing both the sides observed that when the matter came up for first time on May 7, 2018, the same could not be taken up and was sought to be kept on board for May 8, 2018, when F.A Natnoo, Advocate appearing for the respondents prayed that the matter be fixed on May 9, 2018 as he would not be available on May 8, 2018 for some personal reasons. At his request, the matter was kept for May 9, 2018. However, on the aforesaid date, because of the demise of a Bar member, the work was suspended so the matter was kept for today. In the meantime, it appears that the certain orders of appointment have been issued in favour of the private respondents on May 8, 2018 notwithstanding the fact that the order of appointment has already been passed in the matter and the petition had already been filed on May 5, 2018. Caveators were before the court on May 7, 2018 including the PSC, when the matter was adjourned to May 9, 2018.
Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur observed that having considered the entire matter, prima facie, it is established that the appointments were preceded by a selection which was conducted by more than one committee comprising different members. “Keeping in view the ratio of Division Bench judgment cited herein, the appointments based on such a selection cannot be permitted to be made”, the court observed and issued notice to the respondents returnable within two weeks and in the meantime, subject to objections and till next date of hearing stayed the selection/appointment of private respondents.
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